Germany: Pragmatic Portsmanship

With heavy humor, the Dutch claim that they made Rotterdam the Continent's biggest and busiest port by dredging up enough sand to fill in its chief rival: West Germany's Hamburg. Now Hamburg is beginning to laugh back. Continuing a rebuilding and expansion program that has cost more than $500 million since the end of World War II, the city has opened a $16 million "Overseas Center" to speed containerized shipping. And a harbor official foresees the day when "Hamburg will have no competition."

Located 60 miles up the Elbe River from the North Sea, Hamburg handles about a third as...

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